The Finnish Defence Forces have picked Lockheed Martin Canada as one of the three defence companies shortlisted for the competition to build a battle system for the Finnish Navy’s new corvette program, known as Squadron 2020.

The navy’s current complement of six surface combatants will reach their end-of-life cycle by the mid-2020’s. The Squadron 2020 program aims to replace the Finnish Rauma-class fast-attack missile boats and Hämeenmaa-class minelayers with four ice-capable corvettes. The new ships are expected to carry out territorial integrity surveillance, securing vital sea lines of communication and deterring attacks from the sea.

The two other companies considered as candidates for building the battle system of the Squadron 2020 ships are Atlas Elektronik GmbH, of Germany, and Sweden’s Saab Ab.

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The battle system to be delivered will consist of weapons, sensors, and command and control systems and their integration.

The battle system to be delivered will consist of weapons, sensors, and command and control systems and their integration, according to navy Capt. Veli-Pekka Heinonen of the Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command.

Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice-president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada, said being shortlisted for the program was a “fantastic testament” to the integration capability of her company’s Canadian-developed CMS 330 combat management system.

“This is also another exciting export opportunity, not only for us but for our Canadian suppliers who will support our combat management system and integration delivery efforts, should we win,” said Chapdelaine. “This program would be performed in our Kanata, Montreal, and Halifax locations; including manufacturing of the combat management system hardware in our production facility in Ottawa as well as software and systems development, integrated systems testing and trials in our Montreal and Halifax facilities.”

The Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command sent requests to 12 companies at the end of last year to participate in the tender procedure to deliver the battle system for the Squadron 2020 vessels. Eight companies sent a request to participate. The Logistics Command evaluated the requests in cooperation with the Navy, the Defence Command and the Ministry of Defence and an external actor verified the independent nature and quality of the request procedure.

The following criteria were applied to select the companies: integration expertise, technical competence, project competence, commercial and legal requirements, life cycle expertise, industrial cooperation, quality, and safety.

The selected companies will receive an invitation to negotiate and a preliminary invitation to tender from the Logistics Command in early summer 2017. This will start a negotiation phase at the end of which, in the course of 2018, a procurement contract will be signed.